Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 4/5/12
When evaluating linebackers, you almost have to divide them into three entirely different skill sets. Obviously middle linebackers will have different skills outside players, and of those outside backers, you must define them as traditional stack 'backers in the 4-3 defense or the newly popular edge rushers in the 3-4. Let's take a look at the best of each of the three linebacker positions. In the mold of the Steelers, Packers and this season's Texans, the 3-4 defense is becoming commonplace in the NFL. The key to getting pressure in that scheme comes from the outside backers, basically stand-up defensive ends on either side of the three down linemen. Players such as Clay Matthews, DeMarcus Ware and James Harrison have become the prototype for this position, and there are a couple of players in this year's draft who offer that type of ability. Alabama's Courtney Upshaw is the cream of the crop and has many believing he can play all over the defensive front. His obvious position i...
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